//Climbing a coconut tree made easy in Kerala

Climbing a coconut tree made easy in Kerala

Kottayam (Kerala), Feb.2 (ANI): Climbing coconut trees has mostly been a task for men in Kerala. Now, women too can do so with the help of a specially modelled coconut tree-climbing machine for climbing trees.

This user-friendly coconut tree-climbing machine developed by a Kottayam-based non-government organisation weighs five kilogram and is made of iron rods and steel ropes.

The rope is tied around the trunk of a coconut tree and then fixed to the machine. The device has two separate parts for each leg. These have to be pulled up by hands.

With the help of this machine about 12 trees can be climbed in an hour and it takes little time to fit the machine from one tree to another.

The newly introduced machine has made climbing a tree a child's play in Kerala for many village women after they attended training workshops organised by Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS) here.

Recently, the Regional Agro-Industrial Development Cooperative of Kerala Ltd (RAIDCO) trained at least 75 women from 65 villages about using this machine under an initiative launched by the Kottayam-based NGO's women empowerment programme.

The Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS) intends at empowering women in Kerala both–physically and financially.

It has trained some women volunteer animators who are further training others. Comparing what a Keralite has to pay to traditional climbers to meet family needs for the coconut, this Rs 1500-worth machine appears a good bargain.

"At my home I have a lot of coconut trees, but at times it is very difficult to get one piece. Now, this machine is a big help. It can be easily operated. Even my young son has learnt to climb a tree with this machine," said Jijy Jay, a KSSS member.

"The cost of machine is not much when compared to the amount traditional climbers charge. They too charge some Rs 20-30 for climbing household trees. The cost incurred in buying the machine is soon recovered," said Moly Jose, a housewife.

Women in Kerala have welcomed the coconut machine.

"We have recently initiated coconut tree climbing for women, as the KSSS believes in doing, learning and sharing. This is to prove that women are no way less than anyone," said Father Michael Vettickat, the Director of KSSS.

Coconut is a key ingredient of Kerala cuisine and a ready access to this fruit is likely to bring smile on everyone's face.(ANI)